Empowered Employees Generate Great Customer Experiences


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I recently went into Macy’s for my wife’s birthday present and had a heck of a time getting a good service representative to help me. I am not sure why, but they were more interested in talking amongst themselves then helping clients. Bad attitude, training, environment, who knows?

Creating magic moments for your customers each time and every time is not always possible. But, we do have great leadership examples, be it the exemplary Zappos.com culture, Starbucks or Amazon.com (where I usually shop). These and many others are focused on delivering a WOW customer experience, with a culture that supports it.

I believe that you can create powerful experiences for your customers only with empowered employees who are engaged. With a successful customer experience program you are able to align employee needs, with those of the customers, to harness the potential of a CEM program to its fullest.

So, how can you build an empowered workforce that delivers a brand experience that your customers just can’t stop praising?

Implement Customer-Centric Leadership – A customer-centric leadership improves customer experience by empowering employees with the freedom to perform to their fullest. Such leadership can be promoted through ‘servant leadership’. Contrary to the traditional approach where leaders are served, this approach requires leaders to serve. Servant leaders work by removing work-obstructers and making resources available for employees so that they can deliver to their maximum ability. Such leadership empowers customer service employees to make better decisions and create a better experience for their customers. Servant leadership also promotes forward-thinking on all rungs of organizational leadership.

Disney is an example where this leadership succeeded in creating better customer experiences. An effective system was developed by Disney’s parking space attendant for easy identification of cars in its lot. This was approved by the top-rung leadership. Naturally, the implementation saw huge smiles on visitors’ faces.

Create Great Employee Experience – All experiences are about people. It is people and their attitude that make a difference to the experience. A happy employee replicates and multiples his or her experience for his customers. Build a happy work environment where your employees can thrive. You can increase employee engagement by:?

• Hiring the right people for the right job
• Promoting a culture of respect and trust
• Rewarding excellence
• Creating opportunities for professional and personal growth
• Defining brand values that employees can connect with
• Including employees in recruitment process?

Zappos is one brand that has created very happy customers with its happy employees. Managers here are required to spend more time chatting with their team and getting to know them. In addition to being fun, this culture builds understanding and trust among team members, which creates a happy and healthy workplace for employees.

Inspire People-Centric Values in Employees – A coffee at Starbucks is memorable, not just for the rich taste of the beverage, but for the experience here that makes the customer feel important and cherished. Another leading brand that has an enviable reputation for impeccable customer service is Amazon.com. Customers relate experiences where Amazon fixed their problem personally even though it was caused by an outside retailer. This personal touch that ensures customers that he/she is not just another statistic to be cashed on but people that are valued, is what earns you brand loyalty.

There is no promotion as powerful as a satisfied customer. An absolute commitment to a service-oriented culture that believes in the value of people and positive change will attract customer loyalty on its own strength.

Keith Fiveson
A driven communications, customer care, operations, transformation consultant. Helping clients develop people, using convergence based technologies to brand, expand and optimize the customer experience globally.


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